Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, July 5, 2013

People Walk Faster When They Are Nervous!

Filed under: Disc Jockeys - DJs,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Music is the pulse of the wedding – it sets the pace and shows off the life and personality of the bride and groom. If you want the music at your wedding to flow smoothly… hire a “professional” disc jockey!

“There’s a reason we use the words “professional wedding DJ” and not just “DJ”. There is a huge difference between the occasional wedding DJ (the ‘weekend warrior’ that has given the industry a bad name) and the full-time professional who customizes and personalizes every wedding s/he does.” ~ DJ Ron Michaels, Ron Michaels Weddings

No_ipods!It is never wise to count on your iPod to provide the musical entertainment at your wedding reception. They are a greatest invention since the TV remote, and have revolutionized the way we enjoy music, but they are not the best idea for weddings. They are a lot cheaper than hiring a DJ, but if you want you wedding and reception to be memorable for all the “right” reasons, nix the iPod.

The problem comes when you want to have one song as the Wedding Officiant and the groom walk down the aisle, another for the seating of the mothers, another for the bridal party, etc. To complicate things further, trying to time each song exactly to each walk down, can be a disaster. Believe me, it rarely works out.

People tend to walk faster when they are nervous. That means that the timing is seldom ever exact. You most likely will have to practice more than several times at the rehearsal but when the ceremony begins… well, that’s another story. A well organized wedding rehearsal should not take more than 30 minutes if everyone arrives on time – ready to rehearse.

Don’t try to time the music down to the second if you are bringing your own music. It doesn’t work. Even if you don’t want a DJ, you still need a microphone and someone who will make announcements, such as alerting everyone to when the bride and groom will cut the cake or when the bouquet will be tossed.

Couples may often ask a trusted, sober, articulate, and reliable friend or family member to manage the music transitions during the ceremony. Others may use a laptop to sidestep some of iPod players’ limitations, such as an iPods’ 2 or 3 second pause between songs and are unable to fade down and into the next song. You may have to rent a PA system/sound equipment and your friend will need to learn how to use it before the reception. All of this detail is too much for most amateurs to handle plus if just gives you something more to worry about when you should be focusing all your energy and attention on the moment at hand.

While it’s true that DJs will use an iPod or computer to play the music, it is always connected to other equipment that allows them to careful control how the music is played. They can also pre-program the music in advance based upon your personal selections. A DJ can help make a wedding flow smoothly, emcee the wedding reception, and makes sure that people are out on the dance floor having fun. And… most important, you can’t always count on technology, so it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. DJs always have a back-up and a plan B if something does go wrong.

A professional DJ can cross-fade the music to make it work or fade in or out when the mothers reach their seats, etc, then fade-in the next song. When the DJ does it, it sounds great. A DJ does a lot more than just push play, and if you don’t plan ahead, you might end up with poor sound, the wrong songs, or technical difficulties!

When iPods first came out I had a wedding where the couple hired a harpist for the ceremony music but relied solely on their iPod for the reception. When they plugged the iPod into the hotel’s sound system… disaster! It didn’t work. All audio connections are not created equal. They failed to test out the hotel’s system and speakers. The result? No music for the introduction of the bride and groom and no music for nearly 50 minutes while someone set a new land speed record rushing home to get a boom-box. Talk about memorable.

Some wedding venues will not allow use of an iPod, because they have seen first hand the disasters that can occur. Using your iPod costs little or nothing if you already have a digital stereo system to plug into or, as is also becoming more common, you have a venue that provides a digital interface for its sound system.

PROdj3NEVER hire a $50 Craigslist Special – a guy who is a “weekend wonder” who downloads music illegally to pad his playlists.

Greg Tutwiler, professional DJ, offers a few things your iPod can’t do, but your DJ will:

• Consult with you about your specific tastes
• Show up in advance with all of the necessary equipment
• Start appropriate music long before you arrive at the reception
• Work closely with other professionals at the reception to coordinate timing
• Anticipate unforeseen events and changes in the format
• Monitor the lyric content for questionable language
• Control the volume for appropriate levels
• Make announcements, introductions, and keep your guests informed
• Read the dance floor and discern when a shift in genre’ is in order
• Take requests and dial up that special song at a moments notice

If the music at your wedding reception is going to be an important component and you’re considering using an iPod – please think again. I personally would never recommend an iPod wedding to anyone if you want your special day to run smoothly.

BONUS Articles: How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?
Do You Need a Wedding Rehearsal?

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (96 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are the Guests Straining to Hear What’s Being Said?

Filed under: Disc Jockeys - DJs,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

If you ever hear the guests say, “What did the bride and groom say? I couldn’t hear them,” there is a simple solution to this.

lavalierBe sure the wedding officiant and the groom have lavalier microphones. A lavalier microphone is a small “clip-on wireless” microphone that is usually undetectable by the guests when worn on a dark suit. Usually the venue or the DJ will provide this.

Be sure to distinguish between a “clip-on wireless” and a “hand-held wireless” microphone. For me, a “hand-held wireless” mike doesn’t work because my hands are busy holding my wedding book and helping with the sand ceremony, etc. Besides a hand-held usually ends up on a mike stand which doesn’t look to good in the wedding photos.

One of the most important parts of the wedding ceremony for the guest is when the bride and groom are saying their vows or “personal promises” to each other. If the guests are unable to hear what is being said, they get bored and start thinking, “I wonder when the bar opens?” 😉

Surveys show that the wedding vows are more important to a wedding than the photography, cake and catering combined? The words that marry you give meaning to everything else that happens during that day, and the personal promises that you make to each other during the ceremony set the parameters for your marriage and the celebratory tone for your reception!

Most of my weddings are outdoors at hotels and resorts. Sound quality is important. My rule-of-thumb is to have microphones available for guests of more than 75. Be sure to cover your options with the wedding coordinator or DJ.

laughingmouseIf you have special readings, consider having an additional microphone available for the wedding officiant to hand to the reader.

I once had a couple who wanted to have a “fun” wedding with a little light humor to keep the guests interested. During the ceremony an unexpected airplane flew over at a very low altitude. Although I had a lavalier microphone I knew the guests would be unable to hear me – so I paused briefly while the plane went on its way. When the noise subsided, I began again by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you noticed but the plane that just flew over dipped it’s right wing in honor of the bride.” A few people laughed and I added, “And the father of the bride doesn’t know this, but he’s paying for that!” Everyone laughed and I went on with the ceremony.

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?

Filed under: Disc Jockeys - DJs,Guest Authors — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Stacie Tamaki (The Flirty Blog), Guest Author

Honestly? Probably more than you were planning to pay.

Why? Because this isn’t easy to say, I don’t say it lightly: When it comes to Wedding DJ’s, Brides and Grooms can and should expect more professionalism than the status quo that has been perpetuated as “acceptable” for far too long.

the_bar_is_too_lowAnd that’s not just my opinion. Over the years I’ve talked to brides, grooms, friends, other wedding professionals and even wedding DJ’s and everyone seems to agree that the bar for Wedding DJ professionalism has been set (but even more oddly, accepted) at an often shockingly low level of expectation. In many cases the quality of the service provided falls well beneath the level of mediocrity. IMO that’s not ok because the reputation of the entire DJ industry is damaged every time a DJ falls short. It’s created an atmosphere of apathy where people in need of a DJ often hope to pay very little for one simply because they expect so little in return.

This post isn’t about bashing what I consider to be average or stereotypical Wedding DJ’s. For the most part I don’t think there’s anything particularly deceptive about how most of them run or market their companies. It’s not a bait and switch scenario. Clients hire them with their eyes wide open, understanding the level of service they will receive. Some are willing to contract an average DJ because they think what they’re seeing is “as good as it gets.”

In some cases their expectations are so low they don’t even try to find a qualified DJ or MC because they don’t realize good DJ’s exist. Recently I stumbled upon this blog post on Vegan Bride titled “Phil Birdsell Saved the Day!” written by her real life groom. It’s a perfect example of what this article is all about. He and his bride weren’t going to hire a Professional DJ… Until they met Phil Birdsell who completely transformed their perception of what a wedding DJ can be and exceeded all of their expectations.

piggy_bankI know a common misconception is that all DJ’s are “cheesy” or as MC’s they are “obnoxious” on the microphone. So the logic is: Why pay a lot for someone who is most likely going to annoy or disappoint you? For some companies those may be accurate descriptions of the types of services they provide. But I want to share with you today that not all DJ companies are like that…

Some are good.

Some are really good.

A select few are truly great.

Considerations: IMO the major factors that really matter when it comes to price are:

Budget

If a particular DJ doesn’t fit your budget, keep looking for the most qualified one who does. You want to choose the right DJ to entrust your reception to: One who is going to try their hardest and do their best for you, not the first one you talk to or the most convenient one.

What is a DJ Worth?

The answer to this question varies based on your needs, expectations and priorities and the level of talent, skills and customer service a DJ is able to provide to you.

The funny thing (as in ironic not ha ha) is that I have worked in the wedding industry for 13 years and by far know more vendors who do not charge enough for their services than those who overcharge. So many people who work in the wedding industry do so because they love to make people happy, they’re really not in it for the money. Some barely charge enough to break even on the cost of their labor, supplies and equipment. (When I was a custom bridal accessory designer I spent a lot of energy talking brides out of things they didn’t need because imo when it comes to wedding accessories, less is more. Less will always look classic and elegant while too much can look costumed or silly.)

Are DJ’s Who Charge More Worth More?

They can be but it may take research on your part to verify if a company is charging what they’re worth or if they are simply being opportunistic. The sad truth is that any company can “look” legitimate. All they have to do is build a nice looking website, print up some business cards and brochures and start advertising. They may even have some impressive credentials. But those things alone aren’t a guarantee of anyone’s current level of professionalism or your satisfaction as their client.

On the flip side of buyer beware is knowing that paying a premium price for something doesn’t always mean it’s overpriced. Whether or not something costs “too much” can be determined by the answer to this question: Is it worth what it costs? You can spend $5,000 dollars on something that’s worth $10,000 and get a great deal. Or you can spend the same $5000 on something that’s only worth $50 and be completely taken advantage of.

My pov is: “Value is not relative to price but to the quality of the product or service you receive in return for your investment.”

DJ as MC

And what about their Master of Ceremonies skills? Especially if you haven’t ever seen them perform before I urge you not to just send out an email or chat on the phone before hiring a DJ because they will almost always be acting as your MC. You need to meet them in person. During your face to face consultation you can see their personality and even ask them to stand and do an introduction for you. When they do, watch for the following elements to see if they have mastered the MC skills needed to do a great job at your wedding:

• Facial expression and demeanor: Do they smile and look happy to be there?
• Body language: Do they slouch, rock or shift about nervously once they begin speaking? Or do they stand straight and tall with confidence?
• What are their speaking skills like? Do they talk so fast you can barely understand them? Or are they so timid you can’t imagine them getting everyone out on the dance floor?
• Do they sound engaged, interested and excited to be there or is their voice flat as if they are reading a nutrition label on a box of breakfast cereal?
• What does their voice sound like? Do they speak with sincerity in their own voice or turn on a different affected performance voice once they’re speaking into a microphone? (Or spoon or ballpoint pen, whatever is handy during your consultation.)

After taking Mark Ferrell’s MC workshop it is now much more apparent to me how undervalued and overlooked MC skills have been in both the past and present. It’s all the more shocking because everything the MC does is an integral part of your wedding reception and should be considered when you are choosing your Wedding DJ.

Who Do You Hire?

The first and most important question would be: Were you referred to a particular DJ by someone you know and trust, who hired them for an event and were thrilled by their service? Or were you impressed when you saw them successfully performing at another event? If your answer to either question is yes, that may be all you need to know when it comes to selecting who to hire.

If you’re starting from scratch, here are some tips that may help you decide if a company is going to delight or disappoint you. If you can answer “yes” to all or most of the questions below you’re definitely on the right track to finding a DJ of quality.

Does the DJ you are considering hiring:

• Have a Business License?
• Use a Written Contract? Do they guarantee the date, their arrival and departure time and the rate they are charging you?
• Have Quality Equipment?
• Are They Insured?
• Own a Vehicle Large Enough to Transport all of the Needed Equipment? Or will they forego the correct equipment because they don’t have the space to transport it?
• Come Prepared with Back Up Equipment?
• Dress Appropriately?
• Not Use Inappropriate Language?
• Not Drink Alcohol on the Job?
• Bring an Assistant When Necessary? i.e. not enough time allowed for set up before guests arrive or lots of stairs that their equipment must be carried up and down.
• Are they a member of an organization that has real standards for business practices and ethics? A group where not just anyone can pay to be a member.

DJdidn'tShowBut here are the intangibles:

These are the things that you can’t always discern from a website. These are the things a trusted testimonial from someone you know or an eyewitness account can confirm. Does the DJ you are considering hiring:

• Rely on Expertise not Ego?
• Deserve your trust?
• Have Solid MC Skills?
• Know how to Use Their Equipment Properly?
• Understand the Pacing and Timing of the Reception?
• Have a personality that reflects your own and/or the type of event you would like to host for your guests?
• Care About Your Wedding? Are they honored to be a part of your special day or is it just a job to earn money?

There is a Big Difference Between how “Professional” and “Stereotypical” DJ’s View Weddings!

To me there are no exceptions, every DJ is one or the other. It comes down to integrity and the choice they make when it comes to how do they approach your wedding day? You will find both types of DJ’s within owner operated and multi-op companies. Professionalism is defined as competence and skill. The Professional understands and cares that your wedding is special and will use their competence and skills to help make it enjoyable and memorable. For the Stereotypical DJ’s, the common perception is that they treat weddings as just another “gig” on their calendar.

Do you remember in the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” when Julia Robert’s self centered, no frills character makes the analogy that she is “Jell-O” and in the same breath labeled Cameron Diaz’s sincere character as being “Creme Brulee?”

Professional DJ’s are the Creme Brulee

They are honest, have integrity and treat being a DJ as an occupation, not a hobby. Professionals know that their business requires commitment, effort and integrity to be successful. They treat their clients with appreciation and respect because they care about the fact that weddings are special events.

I’ve noticed over the years that because they get to know their clients so well, many owner operated “Professional” vendors in all categories, often create friendships with their clients that may last for years or decades. That’s a great thing!

A Professional DJ will incur many overhead expenses to maintain their company and the high level of service they provide to their clients. These costs have to be factored into the price they charge for their services to create a profit margin. The expenses may include but are not limited to:

• An annual business license
• Registering their business name (DBA) with the city
• Business Insurance
• Association Fees
• Computer and needed software
• Collateral/Printshop: Brochures, business cards, letterhead, etc.
• Website which includes: Design, development, monthly hosting fees, annual renewal for their domain name, periodic updates to their webmaster, etc.
• Continuing Education: Attending educational industry events, workshops, seminars and conferences
• Graphic Designer: Logo design & collateral development
• Equipment: Initial purchase, maintenance and repair
• Company Vehicle: A DJ has to own a vehicle large enough to transport their equipment to and from your event. Some own a dedicated vehicle and others purchase a larger personal vehicle than they actually need on a day to day basis simply to be able to transport their equipment on the weekends.
• Gas and mileage: Some events and consultations may entail a 4+ hour round trip to reach the wedding venue
• Vehicle maintenance and repair
• Paying assistants when required to do their job properly
• Advertising: Bridal shows, magazines, etc.
• Hiring a book keeper or accountant

Stereotypical DJ’s are like Jell-O

Sometimes Jell-O does hit the spot, it can have its moment. But as Julia said in the movie: “Jell-O can NEVER be creme brulee!” The Stereotypical DJ’s have made being average an accepted standard. Many often treat being a DJ like a hobby. Their most common offenses, many of which you may have witnessed in person or have seen portrayed in movies or on tv that have helped to perpetuate the stereotype are: Being late, incorrectly pronouncing the bride or groom’s name during the introductions, not knowing how to properly use their own equipment, not following the timeline for announcements, dressing or acting inappropriately; hitting on guests, drinking on the job, using inappropriate language or using inappropriate humor.

I know. I get and empathize that these are the reasons that some of you are considering making your own mixed music cd or playlist and may forego hiring a DJ. You just don’t want to risk “that guy” showing up and ruining your wedding reception. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you didn’t before I hope you now realize that there are highly skilled, experienced, talented, caring Professional DJ’s out there. They do exist!

how_much_to_pay_for_DJSo, How Much Should your Wedding DJ Cost?

Because different areas of the country have different price ranges, and different couples have different needs and budgets, it isn’t possible for me to give you a definitive amount.

The best guidance I can offer is directly related to the following factors:

• Do you want your guests to be able to hear the ceremony and vows by using an additional sound system not provided by your venue?
• How important is the success of your reception to you and your fiance? Do you want classy intros, someone who entertains (as opposed to interrupts) your guests, unobtrusive sound systems that won’t look tacky in photos and great music & dancing for your reception? How things sound and how successful the dancing goes is especially important if you’ve hired a wedding videographer.
• If you haven’t hired a professional wedding coordinator, do you need the DJ to help you create and execute your wedding day timeline to make sure all of the introductions and announcements are made at the appropriate times? Are you going to count on them to ensure that the photographer and videographer are in place for elements like the toasts, cake cutting and first dance?
• Do you want a DJ you can trust? That knowing they are there will give you peace of mind that everything is going to go smoothly and that their presence will positively impact the success of your wedding and reception?
• Have you ever hired the wrong person to do an important job? You didn’t realize until things went wrong how important it was to you. Or maybe you were just too busy to be overly concerned and thought you could get by. Whatever the reason, regret basically sucks when you know you could have had a better outcome if you had done things differently.

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, you will want to hire the best, most Professional DJ you can afford. What do good DJ’s charge? I will say while there is always the possibility you can find a better than average DJ at any price point, if you want a really good or great one they will probably charge at least twice as much as the average estimates you’ll receive.

I hope this post has explained why and that I’ve made the process of locating, recognizing and qualifying a good DJ easier for you.

If you are a DJ and would like to link directly to this post please use the direct URL: http://theflirtyguide.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-much-should-your-wedding-dj-cost.html

NOTE from Peter Merry: The only missing advice I noticed in this article was suggesting that couples should demand to see uncut video footage of the DJ performing their duties as the Master of Ceremonies in order to see what their performance style “on-stage” will really be. Anyone can show footage of the guests dancing… but listening to what’s being said and and HOW things are being said will go a long way towards establishing the level of skill and talent a wedding DJ has to offer.

BONUS Articles: Hire a DJ Just for the Music? I Don’t Think So!!
Perception of a Wedding Disc Jockey: The Myths & The Truth
Hire a Disc Jockey “Just for the Music?” NOT!
iPod vs. Disc Jockey for Your Wedding? Decisions, Decisions!

NOTE from Stacie Tamaki: My thanks to Mark Ferrell, Jason Spencer of Jason Spencer Weddings and Entertainment, Carl Mindling of I MC Events, Ron Grandia, Leonard Ybarra of Music Plus Events, and to the other DJ industry professionals who helped contribute to this article by allowing me to consult with them. Their insights and perspectives are very much appreciated.

kitai_and_stacieCopyright © 2011 by Stacie Tamaki. Stacie Tamaki blogs on The Flirty Blog. It is a multi-niche, inspirational blog about living in the San Francisco Bay Area, entrepreneurial suggestions for small business owners, wedding and event ideas, lots of food posts (what and where to eat and how to cook and bake), bone marrow registry advocacy and advocacy for shelter dogs and my everyday highs and lows as a Bay Area Designer, Creative Consultant, Foodie, (Amateur) Photographer and Geeky Girl.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hire a Disc Jockey “Just for the Music?” NOT!!

Filed under: Disc Jockeys - DJs,Guest Authors,Receptions — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Mark Sanchez, Disc Jockey/Entertainer, Guest Author

NOTE: I had to write this article after a colleague of mine called me to tell me about a call he received from a bride looking for a Disc Jockey. The Disc Jockey was the last vendor she needed for her wedding. The Disc Jockey was on the bottom of her list since she believed a Disc Jockey was quote “just the music.” Wedding: @ The Westin Kierland, Scottsdale, $40,000 budget, and $750 left for the Disc Jockey (MUSIC). “Ouch!” I’m guessing her cake costs more than that, yet I doubt if the cake can make or break a reception. ~ Mark Sanchez

Before mobile disc jockeys, bands were really the only choice for entertainment at a wedding reception. Couples would choose a band based on the style of music they played. Bands were simply just the music. Some cases couples would choose a member of the family to make a few announcements or perform as the Master of Ceremonies.

Today bands are still a popular choice to perform at a wedding if you can afford to book one. The more popular bands can also make announcements or be Master of Ceremonies for your reception. But in all reality they are still considered to be just the music, and starting at $3,000 for the better bands that’s a lot of money to dish out for just music. Sure music is important, without it, a reception wouldn’t be the same. But is that all you need for a successful reception?

coupledanceIn the late 70s and 80s DJ’s became the popular choice since they were more affordable and could play a variety music for a diverse crowd. Still mobile DJ’s were considered to be just music. A wedding is a unique event with many formalities and traditions. Unlike a birthday party were you have 2 simple traditions, sing “Happy Birthday” and blow out the candles. A DJ can get by with just playing music at a birthday, but a wedding has many more details.

Music is just a tool that DJ’s and bands use to create a lively atmosphere for dancing. It can also be disruptive at a reception if it’s the wrong music being played at the wrong times, and volume levels. A wedding needs direction and guests need guidance. Every wedding is different and there are several transitions throughout the evening. Without direction or guidance people are lost just like a ship without it’s captain.

When a Mobile DJ “performs” at a wedding, he has much bigger role and many more responsibilities to handle then just playing the music.

The Responsibilities and Duties of a Disc Jockey, Day of the Wedding

1. Master of Ceremonies – A good experienced MC will keep your guests informed about the activities and formalities throughout the night, and make timely and appropriate announcements without taking the focus off the Bride and Groom.

2. Director – Weddings need direction because of all the formal events that take place. The director is primarily the MC/DJ. The director guides the guests throughout the night. The MC has the wedding entertainment training to keep the reception flowing smoothly.

3. On-Site Coordinator – Your DJ will work with you your banquet manager, and all other day of vendors to keep your reception on schedule. A professional DJ/MC will make sure all vendors are prepared and ready before any announcement of an activity is made.

4. Music Programmer – Anybody can play music. Playing the right music at the right times, at the right volume levels, and be able to generate a dance floor and keep it going for everyone to enjoy is something only an experienced trained professional can do. If you bring in an amateur to just play music, your party will end fast. The music will set the mood and the tone of a reception.

5. Music Expert – In this day and age anybody can have a vast music library. Having music is one thing, but knowing music is another. Every wedding has a diverse crowd that will enjoy a variety of all types of music. It takes years of experience to learn all styles of music and to know it well.

6. Lighting Tech – Proper lighting also sets the mood during dinner or late in the night. Your DJ should control the lighting so it’s not too bright for dinner or not to dark later for dancing. He will also brings the right kind of lighting for dancing.

7. Crowd Motivator – Unexpected things can happen at a wedding, like rain, or the cake toppling over, etc.. An experienced pro can recognize the situation, lighten the mood, and continue the fun and festivities no matter what. A good DJ can create a fun filled environment without stealing the spotlight.

8. Music Mixer – The better DJ’s can beat match music for a smooth transition from one song to the next without disrupting a dance floor.

9. Problem Solver – When guests need to know anything, more than likely they will ask the DJ. He is “the answer man.” He knows where the restrooms are, where the gift table is located, etc.

10. Roadie – A DJ has to bring more equipment, notes and supplies then any other vendor you may hire, and usually sets up without help. Forgetting one thing could be disastrous to the event.

11. Board Operator – A DJ should know how to work his audio and lighting systems. Yet some DJ’s use rental or barrowed equipment, and while at your event, learn it as they go along.

12. Audio Tech – In case of technical difficulties or audio failure, a DJ should be able to recognize the problem promptly, and know how to fix it. A professional DJ should always carry back up equipment. If an Amplifier goes out with no back up the party ends.

msanchez213. Etiquette – Maintain a high level of etiquette at all times.

All Other “Day of Your Wedding” Responsibilities

    • Sound checks, check volume of music and microphones.
    • Find out the seating arrangements of the wedding party.
    • Go over the agenda with the catering manager and banquet captain.
    • Turn off all house music before starting his music.
    • Find out where house lights are dimmed, and dim at the appropriate time.
    • Go over the agenda with photographer and videographer and cover the procedures for Grand Intro, toast, cake etc..
    • Check microphone frequencies with videographer to make sure they don’t interfere with each other.
    • Locate the person giving the blessing.
    • Verify with banquet manager when the food is ready.
    • Verify all pronunciations of bridal party, the order to walk in, and instruct where to walk in.
    • Coordinate the releasing of guests tables through the buffet line (if necessary)
    • Talk to each member of the wedding party about toasts, and instruct each speaker on proper microphone use, and at the end to raise their glass to toast.
    • Check cake table for knife, plates, and napkins.
    • Locate the throw bouquet.
    • Remind the Bride and Groom to visit with guests, and or use the restroom when finished with dinner.
    • Remind parents for the parent’s dances, and timing.
    • Verify that all parents are in the room and bridal party members and at the head table for the toast.
    • Double check the batteries in the microphones before toasts.
    • Confirm that the photographer and videographer are ready before the first dance and all other formalities.
    • Be ready to adjust lighting for the Bride and Groom’s first dance.
    • Locate the bouquet for the toss.
    • Bring out a chair for the garter removal.
    • Talk to the Best man and Maid of Honor about helping with the money dance.
    • At the end of the night personally congratulate the Bride and Groom.
    • Make sure the DJ’s area is clean before he leaves.

Services and Responsibilities “before” the Wedding

1. Event Planner – Help coordinate your event schedule in a 2 to 3 hour personal planning session, with a timely detailed itinerary and check list in the manner and style you desire, and ensuring that your every need and wish is carried out.

    a. Go over all the fine details of the wedding.

    b. Send an email of the agenda out to all other day of wedding vendors to ensure we are all working together as a team, and your reception is in sync. This prevents the Bride and Groom from being interrupted throughout the reception.

    c. Make a check list: Make sure all equipment, formal music, and tux is packed and ready to go 3 hours prior to the start time.

    d. Refer you to other quality wedding vendors that will fit your needs.

Most of all a DJ is responsible making sure your wedding is engaging, fun, and memorable for you and your guests. A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that needs to be done right the first time because there is no doing it over tomorrow.

“There are two problems here: 1) Clients who try to “cheap out” on any aspect of their event never realize the mistake thay have made until it is too late. 2) I really believe that in many cases, especially when it comes to “the music”, some clients and guests really just don’t know the difference nor do they even care. . . until something happens. . . then I refer you back to problem #1.” 😉 ~ Jimmy Davenport

Larry’s NOTE: The following Wedding Statistics may shock you but they are true and from reliable sources. Read them and learn from other Brides and Grooms mistakes. It will make you rethink your “Wedding Reception Priorities.”

After the wedding reception 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment. Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment. During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their wedding dress, attire, followed by the reception site and caterer, however reception entertainment was among the least of their priorities. How sad.

Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority. When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment (Band or Disc Jockey). 65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding reception, said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a disc jockey! By the way. . . the best price is not always the best deal.

Statistics Sources: These statistics were first published in St. Louis Bride and Groom Magazine. Other sources include: Simmons; USA Today, National Bridal Service, The Knot, and Brides Magazine.

Larry’s NOTE #2: There are two important areas of your wedding celebration where price should never be a factor. A mediocre Minister and a unenthusiastic Disc Jockey can wreak havoc at your wedding. A lackluster minister with a boring ceremony – like most of the others you’ve heard – can leave the guests cold and uninspired and if the DJ isn’t a true “entertainer” the party can crash and burn. Your wedding reception DJ should be considered your “Wedding Entertainment Director.” A great DJ determines whether your reception is a hit or a miss! The minister and the DJ should be the very best you can hire. I know its cliché, but you really do get what you pay for.

Perhaps the primary deciding factor about the ceremony should be who performs the most memorable and unique wedding ceremony for you and your guests and what other extras do they offer in their package that other ministers do not. You will enjoy the comfort and assurance of knowing you are contracting with a first-class minister who comes with professional experience, impeccable integrity, commendable references, a gentle and enthusiastic spirit and a subtle, but delightful sense of humor (hmmmmm, sounds like a description of Larry James). 😉

This is your very special day. It will only happen once. I would never recommend that you make your decision on price alone. There are numerous other areas that you can cut back on when the $$s are tight. Remember: The best price is not always the best deal.

msanchez

Copyright © 2010 – Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez has performed more than 900 weddings in the Great Phoenix area. He started his career at local valley night spots where he received years of personalized training by some of the best entertainment directors. In 1990 he performed his first wedding working for a reputable mobile DJ service in Phoenix primarily as a DJ/Emcee for weddings. Today he is a career DJ who runs his own business as a full time owner/operator specializing in weddings. www.ProfessionalMobileENT.com – Send e-mail to Mark Sanchez!

Read “How to Hire a Disc Jockey” and “Full-Time DJ vs. Part-Time DJ” by Mark Sanchez.

Special Note from Larry James: I’ve worked with Mark Sanchez many times and he delivers a professional, quality show from beginning to end. He is the owner of Professional Mobile Entertainment. – 5 Stars from Larry James!

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

iPod vs. Disc Jockey for Your Wedding? Decisions, Decisions!

How ridiculous is this? You want to save a few hundred dollars and use an iPod on the most important day of your life? Entertainment is one of the most important things that will “make” or “break” your wedding reception. If your iPod stops working – the party is over!

The iPod is a stroke of genius. . . however it is not a reliable substitute for the music at your reception compared to a disc jockey who is an entertainer. Entertainer – meaning: someone who does more than just play music at your wedding. Using an iPod at your wedding is risky business!

I had one wedding where the iPod was planned for the reception music and the connections, etc., were not compatible with the venue’s sound system and they were without music at the reception for over an hour before someone went home to bring a boom box.

Great entertainment isn’t cheap and cheap entertainment isn’t good. If you want to save a few hundred dollars I would cut out something else certainly not the disc jockey. If you want to get a dance floor moving and keep it groovin’, you need a professional wedding disc jockey.

I contacted several of the top wedding disc jockeys/entertainers in the Greater Phoenix area to get their take on iPods. Your comments about their comments and comments of your own are always welcome and encouraged!

dj3Curtis Whipple, President of the American DJ Association – Phoenix Chapter had this to say: There is a reason that “i” is included in the name of an iPod. “I” love my iPod! “I” can have my songs my way.

The iPod is a brilliant piece of technology that even after 30 years in the DJ business, my iPod re-ignited my personal love for music and reminded me of well-loved but oft-forgotten songs.

When considering an iPod over a live, professional DJ/entertainer for a social occasion, several weaknesses of the iPod are revealed. A sound system will have to be rented. You’ll need microphones for the minister, readers, musicians or singers at the ceremony and someone who knows how to connect them and place them as needed. Perhaps some microphone stands will be in order?

After the ceremony, the equipment may need to be moved to the patio for cocktails and then again to the banquet hall for dinner and dancing. Will there be any theatrical or dance floor lighting needs? The microphone will need to be set up again for the toasts at dinner.

Does the iPod user have songs that may appeal to the 3 generations of family and friends that may be in attendance? Will there be songs that represent the ethnic traditions and the heritage of the families in attendance? If not, those songs need to be purchased and loaded. In any case, the play list created in advance on your iPod won’t address the mood and energy and flow of the room at any given time and it won’t react and respond to dancing guests.

Someone will still need to make announcements to keep the event moving along- toasts, cake cutting, garter and bouquet toss etc. That someone should have spent some time learning the order of events and some basic wedding traditions and etiquette and certainly he or she will have to learn all the names of family and honored guests to make formal introductions. Unfortunately, it may be a family member who knows those names and will now be burdened with several chores at the wedding instead of enjoying the celebration.

After renting equipment and acquiring the needed songs and burdening a guest with DJ duties, all of the intended savings may be lost.

A professional DJ has the sound and lighting equipment, training, personality, music expertise and desire to really outshine even the brilliant technology that IS the iPod. A professional DJ will turn a wedding from a good social occasion to a GREAT social occasion.

Contact Curtis Whipple at www.CurtisWhipple.com, 480 634 6127. He is Owner of the Wedding and Event Network www.WENAZ.com.

James Mennes, Exceptional Event Productions, had this to say: As a DJ for 12+ years or so, I can say that there really are occasions where and iPod is okay. I had a friend who held her reception in a restaurant and didn’t need anything more than a nice long play list of music. In fact I told her to save the money and use an iPod. However, those situations are few and far between.

My 8 year old daughter had been able to operate my equipment since she was 3 and fade between songs but I don’t know anyone who would want her to DJ their wedding. We are Hosts and Masters of Ceremonies just like you see at the Oscars or Academy Awards. Our primary function is to make announcements and keep people informed of what is happening next ­with both the guests and the other vendors working the reception. Next, we are DJs and our job is to play the right music at the right time. Just like in a movie, DJs provide the soundtrack to a wedding.

For those considering an iPod over a DJ:

• Who will make your announcements and will they even have a microphone?
• Who will run your wedding reception and let people know what is coming up?
• But most simply, who will press “play” for your key and most important songs like a first dance or a bride’s entrance?

Then there are the horror stories of cheesy DJs that become the center of attention, or DJs that just don’t show up at all. But I guarantee you that at the bottom of every one of those stories is a couple that just wanted to save money on their entertainment. In the DJ industry you pretty much get what you pay for. You wouldn’t feed your guests a fast-food combo meal as the main course of their night. Don’t expect much more in terms of quality from a bargain-rate DJ.

But if you take the time to interview quality people and get to know who they are and what they stand for, I’m sure you will find that the service, piece of mind, and entertainment provided by a professional wedding DJ can never be compared to the play list on your iPod.

Contact James Mennes, Entertainer, Master Of Ceremonies, Professional Disc Jockey at www.ExceptionalEventsAZ.com.

Mark Sanchez, Owner of Professional Mobile Entertainment had this to say: An iPod is a great device created for a personal use only, not professional use. In the long run, an iPod will cost you more money than hiring a professional DJ and make your wedding look cheap. To use an iPod for a large group, you will also need an amplifier, speakers, a microphone, cords, and a diverse music library.

Who will run the iPod or even know how to set up all the equipment the correct way, make announcements, direct the guests, take requests, and program the music. Also remember, someone needs to break it down, then return the equipment. Even if you found a friend to make announcements, what will this person know what to say when to say it, or how to say it?

Weddings are unique events that require planning, coordination, and direction. If that doesn’t happen, guests are lost, formal events will be in vain. The director of a wedding should be the master of ceremonies, a professional MC and disc jockey needs to know about the details of a reception, and will help you plan the agenda, if not how will he know what to say. The right kind of music needs to be played at the right times, with the right volume levels. A professional DJ can read a crowd to play the right music and transition a dance floor smoothly. A pro DJ can build energy in a room just by programming the right music at the right time.

An iPod cannot do this.

Entertainment is so important for a wedding. If entertainment is bad people leave early. Brides need to do their homework and choose the right DJ. My advice would be to seek not only a full time trained experienced professional – not an iPod – but someone that specializes in weddings.

Contact Mark Sanchez, Entertainer, Master Of Ceremonies, Professional Disc Jockey at www.ProfessionalMobileEnt.com.

Tony Laub, www.SoundProEntertainment.com had this to say: Hey, what’s the difference between tater tots and chicken fingers and filet mignon w/ garlic mashed potatoes? It’s all food, right? Some say, “iPod or disc jockey, it’s all music!” Sorry, they just don’t get it.

If you place no value on the quality of your reception, use an iPod. Otherwise hire an entertainer – a professional disc jockey – someone who can add class to your wedding and really get the party started at the reception! iPod = “I Predict Omnipotent Disaster!” 😉

Contact Tony Laub, at www.BestPhxDJ.com, Specializing in Weddings and Corporate Events and www.SoundProEntertainment.com.

Larry’s advice: “Save the iPods for the back yard keg parties and barbeques. Hire an experienced, professional wedding disc jockey/entertainer, one with a great reputation. Leave it to the pros!”

P.S. The four wedding disc jockeys/entertainers who contributed to this article are highly recommended and get 5 stars from Larry James!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Perception of a Wedding Disc Jockey: The Myths & The Truth

Tony Laub, Guest Author –

The public’s perception of a Disc Jockey is much different than that of a wedding photographer, caterer or any other wedding vendor.

Dispelling the myth of a Disc Jockey takes some effort.

Common beliefs:

• Disc Jockey only plays music
• Disc Jockey is an entry-level job, so no experience is necessary.
• Disc Jockey job is fun. If it’s fun, it shouldn’t be paid for.
• Disc Jockey job is easy. If it’s easy it should be paid for.
• Disc Jockey doesn’t really deserve any respect, he/she is not really that important.
• Disc Jockey should never cost more than $500 to $600.
• Disc Jockey only works on the weekend as a hobby.
• Disc Jockey is not a profession.
• It is not that important where the Disc Jockey sets up.

All Disc Jockeys are not the same. The differences lie in the services and experience.

Party Disc Jockey vs. Wedding Disc Jockey

Party Disc Jockey

• Limited music knowledge
• Rarely speaks on the microphone
• Talks more about their equipment
• Might do a friend’s wedding and instantly “Knight” themselves a “Wedding Disc Jockey”

Wedding Disc Jockey

• Entertainer
• Vast Music knowledge
• Commanding presence on the microphone
• Crowd/Guest Motivator
• Master Of Ceremonies
• Reception/Event Planner
• On-Site Coordinator
• Referral Services
• Music programmer
• Director of Ceremony music and procession
• Director of Grand Entrance, Wedding Toast/Speeches, Specialty Dances and Reception/Events

There is a reason why a budget price Disc Jockey is a low price Disc Jockey. If they “could” demand a higher price for the quality of their show, they would!

An Entertainment/Disc Jockey is a “Talent-Based” service… not a commodity.

You will pay more for a Disc Jockey that is “Owner/Operator” because you are getting a premium performer.

If our services were the same as every other Disc Jockey, then you would be looking for the lowest price. “Sound-Pro Entertainment” bases our price on the value we provide to you, not on anyone’s preconceived idea of what a wedding Disc Jockey should be. “A fair price is always equal to the services rendered.”

Professional Wedding Disc Jockeys Don’t Disclose Price Over The Phone!

When I get a an inquiry on the phone or email, the first thing out of a bride’s mouth is, “How much do you charge?”

That’s understandable. A bride may not know the difference between a Disc Jockey, photgrapher or a wedding cake baker, especially when it comes to planning a wedding.

A Wedding Disc Jockey is different than most wedding vendors because what we sell is talent. And you can’t show a package of talent to a bride.

If a “Wedding Disc Jockey” (and I use the term loosely) advertises prices on their website or freely gives out prices over the phone, that can only mean one thing.

They are “cookie cutting” their weddings, which means, they aren’t customizing each wedding. Each wedding will be the same as the one before, which means your wedding will be just like last weeks and the week before. I suppose if you don’t care much about personalized service then the standard run-of-the-mill wedding reception is perfect for you.

Most brides I meet don’t subscribe to that thinking.

Most brides take pride in their wedding day and DO want a personalized, custom wedding that represents their personality.

What makes a great wedding Disc Jockey/Entertainer? The services they provide and the time they take to meet with you.

tonylaubCopyright 2010 – Tony Laub. Tony Laub is a native of Arizona and has been in the entertainment business since 1981. He is an experienced Disc Jockey & Emcee in the arena of wedding ceremonies & receptions, fashion shows, corporate events, & private parties. – www.SoundProEntertainment.com

Special Note: If you want a PRO, hire Tony Laub. I’ve worked with Tony Laub many times and he delivers a professional, quality show from beginning to end. Tony is a DJ & Wedding Entertainment Director. He is the owner of Sound Pro Entertainment. – 5 Stars from Larry James!

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hire a DJ Just for the Music? I Don’t Think So!!

msanchez Guest Author, Mark Sanchez, www.ProfessionalMobileENT.com

Many people think that Disc Jockey’s are just the music at weddings.
 When a Mobile DJ performs at a wedding, he has much bigger role
and many more responsibilities to handle then just playing music.


The Responsibilities & Duties of a Disc Jockey, Day of the Wedding…

1. Master of Ceremonies – A good experienced MC will keep your guests
informed about the activities & formalities throughout the night, and make
timely & appropriate announcements without taking the focus off the
Bride & Groom.

2. Director – Weddings need direction because of all the formal events that
take place. The director is primarily the MC/DJ. The director guides the
guests throughout the night. The MC has the wedding entertainment training
to keep the reception flowing smoothly.

3. On-Site Coordinator – Your DJ will work with you your banquet manager,
and all other day of vendors to keep your reception on schedule.
A professional DJ/MC will make sure all vendors are prepared & ready
before any announcement of an activity is made.

4. Music Programmer – Anybody can play music. Playing the right music at
the right times, at the right volume levels, and be able to generate a dance
floor and keep it going for everyone to enjoy is something only an experienced
trained professional can do. If you bring in an amateur to just play music, your
party will end fast. The music will set the mood & the tone of a reception.

5. Music Expert – In this day and age anybody can have a vast music library.
Having music is one thing, but knowing music is another. Every wedding has
a diverse crowd that will enjoy a variety of all types of music. It takes years
of experience to learn all styles of music and to know it well.

6. Lighting Tech – Proper lighting also sets the mood during dinner or late in
the night. Your DJ should control the lighting so it’s not too bright for dinner
or not to dark later for dancing. He will also brings the right kind of lighting
for dancing.

7. Crowd Motivator – Unexpected things can happen at a wedding, like rain,
or the cake toppling over, etc.. An experienced pro can recognize the situation,
lighten the mood, and continue the fun & festivities no matter what. A good DJ
can create a fun filled environment without stealing the spotlight.

8. Music Mixer – The better DJ’s can beat-match music for a smooth transition
from one song to the next without disrupting a dance floor.

9. Problem Solver – When guests need to know anything, more than likely they
will ask the DJ. He is “the answer man”, he knows where the restrooms are,
the gift table is located, etc.

10. Roadie – A DJ has to bring more equipment, notes and supplies then any
other vendor you may hire, and usually sets up without help. Forgetting one
thing could be disastrous to the event.

11. Board Operator – A DJ should know how to work his audio &
lighting systems. Yet some DJ’s use rental or barrowed equipment, and while at
your event, learn it as they go along.

12. Audio Tech – In case of technical difficulties or audio failure, a DJ should 
be able to recognize the problem promptly, and know how to fix it. A Professional DJ 
should always carry back up equipment. If an Amplifier goes out with no back
up the party ends.

13. Etiquette – Maintain a high level of etiquette at all times.

All other “day of” responsibilities…

Sound checks, check volume of music & microphones.

Find out the seating arrangements of the wedding party.

Go over the agenda with the catering manager & banquet captain.

Turn off all house music before starting his music.

Find out where house lights are dimmed, and dim at the appropriate time.

Go over the agenda with photographer & videographer and cover the procedures for Grand Intro, toast, cake etc..

Check microphone frequencies with videographer to make sure they don’t interfere with each other.
Locate the person giving the blessing.

Verify with banquet manager when the food is ready.

Verify all pronunciations of bridal party, the order to walk in, and instruct where to walk in.

Coordinate the releasing of guests tables through the buffet line (if necessary)

Talk to each member of the wedding party about toasts, and instruct each speaker on proper microphone use, and at the end to raise their glass to toast.

Check cake table for knife, plates, and napkins.

Locate the throw bouquet.

Remind the Bride and Groom to visit with guests, and or use the restroom when finished with dinner.

Remind parents for the parent’s dances, and timing.

Verify that all parents are in the room & bridal party members and at the head table for the toast.

Double check the batteries in the microphones before toasts.

Confirm that the photographer & videographer are ready before the first dance and all other formalities.

Be ready to adjust lighting for the Bride and Groom’s first dance.

Locate the bouquet for the toss.

Bring out a chair for the garter removal.

Talk to the Best Man and Maid of Honor about helping with the money dance.

At the end of the night personally congratulate the Bride & Groom.

Make sure the DJ’s area is clean before he leaves.

Services & Responsibilities before the Wedding…

1. Event Planner – Help coordinate your event schedule in a 2 to 3 hour
personal planning session, with a timely detailed itinerary and check list
in the manner and style you desire, and ensuring that your every need
& wish is carried out.

A. Go over all the fine details of the wedding.

B. Send an e-mail of the agenda out to all other day of wedding vendors to
ensure we are all working together as a team, and your reception is in
sync.
This prevents the Bride & Groom from being interrupted throughout the 
reception.

C. Make a check list: Make sure all equipment, formal music, and tux is packed
and ready to go 3 hours prior to the start time.

D. Refer you to other quality wedding vendors that will fit your needs.

Most of all a DJ is responsible making sure your wedding is engaging, fun,
and memorable for you and your guests.

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that needs to be done right the
first time because there is no doing it over tomorrow.

BONUS Articles: How DJs $pend Their Time
Read “How to Hire a Disc Jockey” and “Full-Time DJ vs. Part-Time DJ” by Mark Sanchez.

Special Note from Larry James: I’ve worked with Mark Sanchez many times and he delivers a professional, quality show from beginning to end. He is the owner of Professional Mobile Entertainment. – 5 Stars from Larry James!

Copyright © 2009 – Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez has performed more than 900 weddings in the Great Phoenix area. He started his career at local valley night spots where he received years of personalized training by some of the best entertainment directors. In 1990 he performed his first wedding working for a reputable mobile DJ service in Phoenix primarily as a DJ/Emcee for weddings. Today he is a career DJ who runs his own business as a full time owner/operator specializing in weddings. www.ProfessionalMobileENT.com – Send e-mail to Mark Sanchez!

Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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